hope that title isn't too confusing..
I have 2 layers; the top most one is dark at 100%, but I turned its opacity down to, say, 20% or so. I like that in relation to what's below it.
now, when I merge these two layers, the top most layer's opacity returns to 100% after the merging is complete!
if I have to, I'll just leave them as separate layers, but since I no longer need them separate, is there a way to merge them without altering the appearance of the result?